Pieces of Heart

How well are you treating yourself and others lately?

Truth

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”Gautama Buddha

This morning I was looking through my Facebook memory feed and I saw the entry above. It struck a chord; so I posted it again and within minutes, some of my friends started sharing it. Isn’t it the truth? Why is it so hard for the majority of humans to focus on our positive attributes rather than our negative ones?

I know the quote up there says that it’s not up to others to keep you encouraged and it’s true; but oh, does it help when we infuse this good advice with a healthy dose of kindness to one another? It doesn’t take a supreme effort to make another person feel good. In fact, whenever I am able to bring a smile to someone else’s heart, it makes my own heart smile.

command

This morning I made a quick stop on the way to work in order to pick up lunch. I stopped at my favorite grocery store and picked out something Keto-approved (because I am on a never ending quest to get healthier. That counts as self-love, right?). Standing in the checkout line I overheard the cashier call the customer in front of me by name. My first thought was that she must be a regular shopper. Still, it made me smile inwardly because the cashier was so kind to her.

When it was my turn, she asked me how I was, we exchanged pleasantries and she rang up my items. When she handed me the receipt, in the sweetest tone, she said to me, “Thank you, Bobbe…I really like your name!” I thanked her, wished her a great day, and I left the store smiling. I am sure the store management probably encouraged her to do this, but it didn’t matter to me a bit. It was kind. Her delivery was genuine and it made me feel good. As I pulled out into traffic, still smiling, I couldn’t help but think about how important it is to be kind to one another. She had just altered the course of my day in a wonderfully simple, yet highly positive way.

Last night we performed our regular once-per-week catering job. It’s the Fellowship Meal for the church where I work (doing finances), and I am Facebook friends with most of the people who attend. If you subscribe to this blog you already know that I adore cooking. Few things make me happier than mastering a new dish or preparing pretty food. I regularly share my food porn and my recipes on Facebook, because it’s what I enjoy. (Who doesn’t love food?)

Admittedly, there was a time when I wouldn’t share this blog anywhere because I feared what people may think. My food blogs could be construed as bragging; my inspirational writing could be construed as me believing I am above others; my angel musings could be construed as me being delusional or crazy. I was worried that people I work with might think I am (gasp) “new age”, even though I am actually the furthest thing from it. I was worried about offending people who don’t like what I like… You get where I am going with this.

deep

When I turned 54 a month ago today, I made the decision to live in authenticity. To me, this means the inside matches the outside; it means sharing exactly who I am without concern over what other people think or whether they believe the same as I do. It means that what others think of me is none of my business. Am I living my life in accordance to what I believe God wants? Am I feeling good in my own heart? To me, nothing else should be of higher importance.  Besides, if we were all exactly the same, where would joy live?  Ponder this a while. I’ll wait.

Last night just as we were about to serve dinner, one of the church congregants -(a lady I love to “silly-banter” with)- came across the room to tell me she wanted to tell me something. I was expecting our normal silliness, but instead she was so sincere. She proceeded to say the nicest things to me with regard to the variety of things I do well in my life; the cooking, the writing, the accounting, etc. I don’t want to repeat the entire exchange here, but it was one of the loveliest and most unexpected compliments I have ever received. Apparently, she’s been reading my blogs and so she is knowing me better. <grin> What she didn’t know, (or maybe she did), was just how timely she was, as I’ve been feeling rather low since Easter.

Driving home last night, I was telling Charlie what she said when tears formed in his eyes. He took my hand in his and said, “It’s all true, Bobbe. You don’t get enough credit or give yourself enough credit for who you are.” He doesn’t know it, but every time he gets emotional when I tell him about something like this, it cements the fact that I know I am exactly where I belong.

I don’t know if it’s true that I don’t get enough credit. (I am aware I don’t give myself enough credit because people tell me this all the time!) The reason I share this is to illustrate that kindness matters. Two times in the past twenty four hours, I’ve experienced unexpected kindnesses and my spirit has done a complete about-face. In fact, I feel transformed.

I am a generally positive person. Imagine if I wasn’t? How might these kindnesses have affected me even more?

Thank you God, for those people who unabashedly offer pieces of heart. Please help me to persist in trying to follow this path as well.

May pieces of heart sprinkle all of the paths we travel and may God grant us the insight to know when to sprinkle our own.

Happy Friday!

Love, Bobbe

 

Blessing You & You & You & …

To bless means to wish, unconditionally, total, unrestricted good for others and events from the deepest wellspring in the innermost chamber of your heart: it means to hallow, to hold in reverence, to behold with utter awe that which is always a gift from the Creator. He who is hallowed by your blessing is set aside, consecrated, holy, whole.

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Blessing:
God’s favor and protection
– may God continue to give us his blessing
A prayer asking for such favor and protection
– a priest gave a blessing as the ship was launched
Grace said before or after a meal
A beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being
– great intelligence can be a curse as well as a blessing
– it’s a blessing we’re alive
A person’s sanction or support


If anyone were to overhear what goes on in my brain on a daily basis, she might think I either sound like a broken record or someone who has lost her senses. The mere thought of this makes me giggle because; Oh, the things I hear and do and say in my brain!

I suspect that as a child, someone I revered must have told me to be conscious of other people at all times. I can remember being in church watching all of the people file through the aisles on the way to communion. It was a game for me to try to Bless each and every person that walked by without missing a single soul. The times I was able to keep up and master this, I left with a huge sense of joy at my accomplishment and an even bigger sense of wonder about what goodness might be waiting for that person in the future.

These days Charlie laughs at me when sometimes in the middle of watching a television show or attending a lecture where someone has shared a poignant real-life story, I’ll raise my hands towards them in silence. My heart is always saying, “God Bless you on your journey, thank you for sharing”. Having now lived with me as long as he has, he doesn’t ask me what I’m doing. He knows. I’ve even taught him to Bless our vegetable and herb plants to thank them before we cut them for use in a meal.

I wonder what the world might be like if we spent most of our days conscious of the fact that we’re all on a journey, trying our best to get through the challenges life presents to us? I wonder what might happen if we were actually spending our time Blessing one another, over spending our time being oblivious to one another? I see people every single day driving in the car–one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the smartphone, scrolling or talking. What if we put those phones down and instead spent our time in the car, communing with God, just praying for the strangers we pass on the road?

Years ago someone anonymously sent the following article to my email box and I saved it because it speaks volumes. It speaks to what goes on in my head and heart every moment of every day. We ask one another for prayers, but how many Blessings are we bestowing?


The Gentle Art of Blessing
By: Pierre Pradervand

As you walk, bless the city in which you live, its government and teachers, its nurses and street sweepers, its children and bankers, its priests and prostitutes. The minute anyone expresses the least aggression or unkindness to you, respond with a blessing: bless them totally, sincerely, joyfully, for such blessings are a shield which protects them from the ignorance of their misdeed, and deflects the arrow that was aimed at you.

To bless means to wish, unconditionally, total, unrestricted good for others and events from the deepest wellspring in the innermost chamber of your heart: it means to hallow, to hold in reverence, to behold with utter awe that which is always a gift from the Creator. He who is hallowed by your blessing is set aside, consecrated, holy, whole. To bless is yet to invoke divine care upon, to think or speak gratefully for, to confer happiness upon – although we ourselves are never the bestow-er, but simply the joyful witnesses of Life’s abundance.

To bless all without discrimination of any sort is the ultimate form of giving, because those you bless will never know from whence came the sudden ray of sun that burst through the clouds of their skies, and you will rarely be a witness to the sunlight in their lives.

When something goes completely askew in your day, some unexpected event knocks down your plans and you too also, burst into blessing: for life is teaching you a lesson, and the very event you believe to be unwanted, you yourself called forth, so as to learn the lesson you might balk against were you not to bless it. Trials are blessings in disguise, and hosts of angels follow in their path.

To bless is to acknowledge the omnipresent, universal beauty hidden to material eyes; it is to activate that law of attraction which, from the furthest reaches of the universe, will bring into your life exactly what you need to experience and enjoy.

When you pass a prison, mentally bless its inmates in their innocence and freedom, their gentleness, pure essence and unconditional forgiveness; for one can only be prisoner of one’s self-image, and a free man can walk unshackled in the courtyard of a jail, just as citizens of countries where freedom reigns can be prisoners when fear lurks in their thoughts.

When you pass a hospital, bless its patients in their present wholeness, for even in their suffering, this wholeness awaits in them to be discovered. When your eyes behold a man in tears, or seemingly broken by life, bless him in his vitality and joy: for the material senses present but the inverted image of the ultimate splendor and perfection which only the inner eye beholds.

It is impossible to bless and to judge at the same time. So hold constantly as a deep, hallowed, intoned thought that desire to bless, for truly then shall you become a peacemaker, and one day you shall, everywhere, behold the very face of God.


From The Angels:

divine-guidance Divine Guidance: Trust and follow your intuition. It is God and the angels speaking to you.

You are being Divinely guided right now. The gut feelings you have, the knowingness, the visions, or the inner voice are all trying to tell you something, and it is very important that you trust and follow this guidance.

If you drew more than one card, pay close attention to the cards that are on either side of the “Divine Guidance” card-they contain important instructions for you. These nearby cards feature facets of the message that the angels seek to impress upon you.

answered-prayer Answered Prayer: Fear not, beloved one! Your prayers have been heard and answered.

All of your prayers are always answered. Sometimes you may not feel this way, because the answer comes in unexpected ways. Perhaps you receive an intuitive feeling or a new opportunity appears-or a book falls off the shelf. The angels answer our prayers very often by giving us ideas or information in these everyday ways.

By drawing this card, the angels request that you be extra observant. Notice everything that you hear, say, think, and feel. Be especially alert to help that comes to you, and be sure to accept that help. You do deserve this assistance, and many times God enlists people to act as Earth angels who bring you answers to your prayers.

image Archangel Michael:“I am with you, giving you the courage to make life changes that will help you work on your Divine life purpose.”

Additional Message: “I have come to you because you asked God for safety and protection, and because you asked about your life purpose. Since you are a light-worker, I am overseeing the fruition of your Divine life purpose. You have been a light-worker for a long time, and you have felt different from others, isolated at times. Be assured that you have never been alone, and that you never will be alone.”

“When you feel pushed to make a change at work or at home, that may be my influence, encouraging you to make your life’s purpose a high priority. I can rearrange your schedule and support you in other ways to make your path smooth and harmonious. Simply ask me, and it is done. I will also help you feel safe and comfortable during your life’s changes.”


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Today’s Prayers:

May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Moccasins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.
~Cherokee Blessing

Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
~Pueblo Blessing
The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach; but we shut our eyes, and, like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it. ~Seneca Blessing

 


Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
— 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV)

This That JOY!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are having issues with angst and depression or you just need to uncover your own joy; find something to do that’s in service of someone else.

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I think I’m victim of the change of seasons. One day it’s perfectly beautiful here and the next it’s forty degrees. I’ve had a low fever coupled with a few random symptoms for a while now. While I don’t think it’s serious, it’s enough to make me feel run down and achy. Yesterday was the first day I considered staying home from work because of it. Not only did I not feel up to going to do my regular work, Charlie and I had slated ourselves to help with kitchen duty for the Church’s weekly, parish-wide meeting. I decided to push through and I am EVER so happy I did!

Who knew how much fun it would be to get to cook in a huge kitchen and then serve a huge group of people? I know it’s not every person’s idea of a great time, but it is mine. I love to cook and being in that kitchen took me back to grade school days where the biggest worry I carrived was whether to choose french fries or mashed potatoes.

The harder I worked, the better I felt and when it came time to stand on my side of the table and serve the people coming through the line, in true Grinch fashion, I felt my heart start to grow and grow. It was so fun to look across and see all of the faces and take a moment to try to make each one of them smile. I think by the time the night was over, I was floating a few feet above the ground and my illness? What fever? What symptoms?

Last night I revisited the Bobbe of days gone by, who IS very social and loves to cater to people. I do know where my joy comes from…it’s in connecting with and in serving others. Trust me when I say that not every person I encountered yesterday had a bright, shining face, and not everyone was responsive. It didn’t matter. Joy’s got game; it doesn’t recognize snarls and snarky remarks. Joy only sees other people with compassion and love.

I would have been justified if I’d chosen to stay home yesterday. Thank GOD I didn’t or I’d have missed the most fun I’ve had in quite a long while.

When I finally collapsed in bed last night I truly felt I’d been of good service. Nothing replaces that feeling, except perhaps what it feels like to first be falling in love. I think joy lives equally in both experiences.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are having issues with angst and depression or you just need to uncover your own joy; find something to do that’s in service of someone else. Go out of your way to be kind when you don’t feel like it. Help someone who cannot reciprocate. Offer a heartfelt compliment to a stranger. Tutor a student. Visit with the elderly. Find something to do that takes the focus OFF of you and places it onto someone else.

Joy lives there.


ACTION

An Angel Reminder: A man is the origin of his actions. Aristotle

Action is movements. It is the exertion of energy or influence. As humans, we are in action a lot of the time. We take action, or we go in and out of action. If we are the origin of our actions as Aristotle said, then who are you? What have your actions in the past hour said about you? How about in the past year? How about your actions toward certain people? What is is that your actions are trying to get across? Once we take action in response to something, we can’t undo the action. We can know many things, but we will never really know the effect of and extent of all our actions.

Think about your actions today. Think about the actions of the angels. Is it always possible to think before we act? Do you recognize all your actions, or do you sometimes look back and ask, “Did I do that?” Ask the angels for help in acting consciously, with courage and compassion.

An Angelic Reflection: With the angels in my life, I can be a true action hero.

(Angel Courage: Terry Lynn Taylor & Mary Beth Crain (c)1999, Harper Collins San Francisco)


From The Angels:

answered-prayer Answered Prayer: Each day connect with your soul allow the divine light in. Your prayers have been answered.

In your life find a way to experience spiritual devotion through prayer or meditation in a way that brings out devotional qualities. These qualities or energies are healing. They drive away anger. All of your prayers are always answered.

The angels request that you be observant of everything you see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or sense in any way it is an aspect of Divinity.

celebration Celebration: This time of light is a time of rejuvenation, of recharging your batteries. Take time to celebrate and rejoice in the uplifting of spirits. Lighten up. Acknowledge your diligence and give yourself credit and appreciation for all that you have accomplished. Stop and smell the roses. Stop to appreciate the beauty and majesty that is present in your lives.

Focus on what you are creating, not what is crumbling. Remember: neutral compassion, this is especially important for what is in your personal experience. Witness and bless. All the angels join with you in celebrations of light at this time, it is by this light that you are united, and by this light that you have created all that is on its way to you. What a glorious time to rejoice in all that is good and all that is true.

Don’t give up – for while it appears that you are on a solitary path, you are supported by reams of fellow beings of light on all around you. If you do nothing else at this time of celebration, remember the unseen party that is going on everywhere!

image Serenity: You are free from stress and your disposition is of greater inner peace and tranquility.

Even if your unable to resolve a current task at hand, your peace of mind and faith will allow you to trust that the angels and God will take care of you. If something in your life isn’t working, be willing to release it to God and the angels.

The angels reassure you that tranquility and refreshed peace of mind is within you. As you work toward serenity, and inner peace your life’s unforeseen problems begin to lessen and disappear.


Blessed are they who give
without expecting even thanks in return,
for they shall be abundantly rewarded.

Blessed are they who translate
every good thing they know into action,
for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.

Blessed are they who do God’s will
without asking to see results,
for great shall be their recompense.

Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings,
for they shall reach the good in people and
receive a loving response.

Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know
that not the garment of clay but that which activates
the garment of clay is real and indestructible.

Blessed are they who see the change we call death
as a liberation from the limitation of this earth-life,
for they shall rejoice with their loved ones
who make the glorious transition.

Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives
and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith
to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead,
for they shall receive a second blessing.

Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path
without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace,
for they shall find it.

Blessed are they who instead of trying to
batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven
approach them humbly and lovingly and purified,
for they shall pass right through.

Peace Pilgrim’s Beatitudes – Mildred Norman


I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay

And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart

 

 

Weighted Words

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17


It’s always fun when I’m going through old writings and I find something that is still as applicable today as it was the day I wrote it. What’s even better is that I can remember exactly where I was and what I’d done that day. The Janitor I speak of below is someone I never knew very well, but he wrote his name in my heart on more than one occasion, with a kind word and deed. I returned the favor.

The “words have weight” phrase is something that lives in the forefront of my brain lately. I suppose it’s because I’ve been hurt quite a bit this week, so I want to be mindful of the way I speak to others, the way I speak to myself and the manner in which I carry myself.

Years from now I’d like for someone out there to be reading through old writings and find a good memory of me…just like I remember my former office building’s maintenance man. I can’t remember his name, but I absolutely remember the kindness he showed to me.

“Purpose is the foundation of a meaningful life.”

Late at night when the quiet finds me, I think about what the world and its people mean to me. Thoughts of the day’s conversations flow through my brain and sometimes land in my heart. Not everything finds a resting place there, because so often the days are filled with meaningless words and deeds.

Some nights there is utter silence inside; a stillness there that almost beckons tears. It arrives without warning, though not without purpose.

It comes as a reminder that the words I speak during the day very often carry no meaning at all. Why would I think someone would be interested in the man who cut me off at the corner or the bank teller who was rude to me or what silly thing a friend encountered? Is anyone ever truly interested when someone relates such a story?
Is this type of speech important in daily life? What is it I said during the day that really meant anything?

Thinking back I realize…

I wished the janitor a happy day and then I hugged him for no reason. This was the single important, purposeful thing I’d done. I’d touched him with my wishes and with my hug. Everything else was wasted air. I hadn’t touched anyone else’s heart. No wonder the silence beckons tears of emptiness.

Which begs the question, can we be fulfilled on a daily basis if we fail to touch another’s heart? Could it be possible this is why there is so much depression in our society?

What would I speak of if I were prevented from relating the days events or of my interactions with others?
What would anyone speak of?

Obviously there is a choice to be made at any given moment each day. We can choose to pollute the air with tales that mean nothing to us or to our captive listener OR we can choose to make a difference by touching others.

Yes, you guessed it. Random words of kindness and love coupled with acts of love where appropriate.

Go ahead. Experiment. I dare you to.


From The Angels:

divine-guidance Divine Guidance:
Trust and follow your intuition. It is God and the angels speaking to you.

You are being Divinely guided right now. The gut feelings you have, the knowingness, the visions, or the inner voice are all trying to tell you something, and it is very important that you trust and follow this guidance.

If you drew more than one card, pay close attention to the cards that are on either side of the “Divine Guidance” card-they contain important instructions for you. These nearby cards feature facets of the message that the angels seek to impress upon you.

new-beginnings New Beginnings
A clean slate is presented to you as you now encounter fresh opportunities and novel experiences.

Embrace the new in your life, including new opportunities, people, and projects. The angels know that change can be frightening, and they surround you now with loving energy. Call upon them whenever you feel afraid of facing novel situations. They will boost your confidence and energy so that you can enjoy your new beginnings.

Sometimes we cling to old routines because they are familiar. By drawing this card, the angels ask you to be open to new approaches to life. Perhaps they will teach you a new way of looking at situations. Or maybe they will call on you to learn a new skill. Whatever the new beginning is for you, allow yourself to be stretched by the fresh circumstances. We learn about ourselves through new experiences.

freedom Freedom
The angels guide you to freely express your true thoughts and feelings with love.

You may feel trapped right now by life conditions. By drawing this card, the angels ask you to realize that you are the only jail keeper that ever surfaces in your own life. Whenever you realize that you have the power to be free, freedom follows. Everything that you do in your life is by choice, and you are free to choose again. Even prisoners are free to choose their thoughts so that they feel peace and happiness under any conditions.

The next time you begin a sentence with the words, “I have to ______,” please stop. Ask God and the angels to show you some alternatives. They will either help you complete the task from a loving mind-set so that you don’t feel trapped, or they will guide you to do something else that you will love.

Self-Acceptance
You are a perfect child of God, and every part of you is wonderful. Your angels guide you to let go of negative self-judgments and to enjoy being you!

“You are much too hard on yourself,” your angels say to you through this card. Although you enjoy having high standards, it’s important to view yourself through loving eyes. Berating yourself only makes your spirit sink. Self-improvement comes from a positive mind-set.

See yourself through your angels’ eyes, and you will see someone who is a perfect and holy child of God. Although you have made mistakes in the past, there is nothing that you could have ever said, thought, or done that would change God’s love for you. The angels see past your surface mistakes; they see the beating heart of God’s love within you. They love you unconditionally, and they ask you to love yourself in the same way!


Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me;
give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense;
and the lifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Psalm 141:1-2

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God;
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise;
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100